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tv   Book TV  CSPAN  August 18, 2013 1:45pm-2:31pm EDT

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>> host: one of the things we do know is we all die at this point. you're not giving your money to charity. you're an atheist. to a family? are you going to spend it all? >> guest: i don't have kids. if i was going to leave my money to the younger generation, i would probably -- i considered doing what the romans did, which is to say, just because somebody was your genetic progeny doesn't mean they're worth anything. better that you look around among kids that are old enough that you can see who they are and how they have developed. so i might do that. otherwise, i will leave it to my wife who is very smart and very prudent, it thinks pretty much like i do. with a little bit of luck, maybe
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ray kurzweil is right and we will see the singularity in time for me to reconstitute my body as bad as a 30-year-old decaf on athlete. you might be able to do that, too. better chance than im. you are younger than i am. >> host: we've been talking on booktv with doug casey. "totally incorrect" is the name of the book. self published, correct? >> guest: i'm not sure. i don't think so. it was published by laissez-faire books, which is a multi-billion dollars company. but you know, this is an interesting distinction because back when my first books were published, you had to get a publisher. the bigger the better. so i was published by harper wrote, simon & schuster. that was important in those
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days. in those days, they were 50,000 new books published every year more or less. now, this last year there were 1.2 million new books published. so you don't need a publisher anymore. you're almost like a fifth wheel i think. >> host: doug casey, "totally incorrect" is the name of his most recent book. this is booktv on c-span 2 at freedom fest in las vegas. >> for 30 years, john hunter has fled classrooms and world peace game where students take on the roles of global leaders work to solve international disputes. in his book, "world peace and other 4th grade achievements"
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comment he talks about what event from international diplomacy from the students. this is about 50 minutes. >> good evening. i'm john hunter, author of "world peace and other 4th grade achievements." we are here at park road books in the charlotte, north carolina, making sure the folks at home know where we are, too. i'm going to just talk for a few moments i guess in an see if there are any questions. i think we have some questions coming from the audience in a bit, too. this book is a labor of a lot of people. i started to become a writer that i would write about them myself, but it takes a huge organization to write a good book. the organization is a book
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followed in new york at the cynthia canal to make this possible. the book has come out in april april 2013 messier, promoting and ensuring the book was people across the country. it appears to be the world as well. the book is about the world peace game. you might of heard about it. it is a geopolitical simulation that i created about dirty five years ago when i totted bridgeman, public in richmond, virginia. i was a beginning teacher and i didn't know what i was doing. i had no idea what to do really. the key thing that really made a difference as my supervisor at the time, when i asked her what should i do, thinking i would get instruction manual, some guiding, she would tell me what to do. she didn't. she asked me, what do you want to do? you might've heard me say it
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before, but it really upset me. i was a young teacher waiting for guidance. instead of giving me directions, she opened this large space for me, this big space and that empty space really became the template for everything i was to do after that. the very first thing was the world peace game. i had to create curriculum. i was teaching gifted and talented inner-city kids in virginia and doing what i wanted to do. i didn't know what that was, but i thought i would try to do what my good mentors, great mentors that i was the tides. find out who your students are. really get to know them and find out what their passions are. but they love, what they care about. you find out what they care about and then build curriculum to that or around that.
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they love, their passion for whatever it is they are interested and will drive your curriculum. you don't have to teach very much because they'll be in charge because they feel they have ownership and it's the work they are doing. i asked my students in 1978, which you care about? i asked individually and in 1978, they loved boardgame. we did not face the. we didn't have computers. and so, i said we will have to have a boardgame. my school had a curriculum. i was teaching social studies. they wanted me to teach a unit on africa thing here. i'll put those two together. right around 1978, problem-solving had been invented as a curriculum tool. i will put problem-solving in it. i put all three together and created the first forfeit his size of plywood or game called the world peace game.
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it was not africa. it was taped on the board. i thought, i'm a young adventure. why stop at africa? so i thought the challenge and problem-solving would take the problems of the continent and divide them up among the students and divide the students into teams. the objective was to solve the problems. let's ask them to improve all the countries at the same time. it's a double challenge. they rose to the challenge. we've been playing the game since 1978. we used a real country, but i stopped using real countries and started to use fictional countries as i found that the students were bogging down. they were not winning the game very well after a few years and i didn't know why. i questioned them and finally came to light. the real countries look at the newspaper and ask our parents
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would take their suggestions and do what they do. real problems, real world. of course they were solving. so we kept the real problems and kept going. today, the world peace game from his forfeit a five-foot on the floor is a four-foot by four-foot by four-foot glass tower. it towers over most of my fourth graders, nine euros in virginia where i teach these days. this tower emulates our earth. there are four layers. there are 44 by four she said plexiglas stack one above the other to make a space in between each layer horizontally. on each layer we have hundreds of game pieces, mostly from hobby shops and toy stores. i've collect them over the decades. the bottom level is called the undersea level.
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submarines, undersea mining, coral reefs endangered species allender the little figures. there is a space level on top. scattered with a small cry scattered with a small crystal, space stations, satellites, researching killer satellites also. asteroid mining and a black hole rescue scenario put in. the next level down, just that about students i level as the aircraft level. they are big post says cotton to use that weather guys moves around so you can change the weather anytime she likes. on the level we have air forces from different countries and marked off above the four countries on the next level down, the ground sea level. so there are four countries did very well tonight says. and there are cities, towns,
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countries commit universities, armies, navies cossack ruiz. students are divided into four country teams. as a prime minister can the secretary of state, minister of defense and the cfo or chief financial officer for each country. we have a united nations body, and also arms dealers. put that into the other questionable site about human nature. some students eagerly want to play that role of the time. instead come with the weather got handles the random event that she determines the severity or extent of the merchant fees or good fortune. we also have a saboteur. it's not always, but sometimes the student is always in the office in trouble. that student is my best student. a student i want to use as students go says show essay. i asked, would she please use your ability to get in trouble so much and cause so much
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destruction to the good of the game and all the other students and they jump at the chance. so that's two has a twofold job. on one hand, they play their role in the prime minister, secretary of state can the secretary of state would ever does trying to win the game. to object is to solve the crises in breaks every countries asset values beyond a certain point. they are trying to do that and at the same time, through misinformation, ambiguities irrelevancies, misleading they cannot buy outright. they are trying to destroy the entire game. so they are playing our dark side in a way and gleefully so. we all know that person mayor. we don't know who it is, so automatically the knowledge of the person's existence forces everyone to have to consider more deeply every thing said in the room. every nuance, every gesture,
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every line of thought. so we are trying to increase critical and creative thinking by presenting an opportunity for students to have to probe more deeply into everything. appearances are not always as they seem. so that as a complement to students who are playing and i give them a dossier. each one has a top-secret dossier. is this top secret on it. they have documents linked to trade agreements and tariffs in fines and fees and treaties and inventories than expediters forms and so forth. think about 25 pages of documents. they've also got a 13 page crisis document. their safety interlocking problems i basically ripped from the headlines and modified and it interlocked them so that every crisis as far as possible is connected to every other crisis in every way possible. this is economically, militarily social so if one crises change, everything else changes as much
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as possible. we are deliberately trying to complex by the situation because we really believe they can handle it. we don't preach you or break things down to smaller bite-size pieces, they give their poor little mites can handle complexity. we believe children actually can't, so we give them the challenge to rise to it. safety interlocking problems. every countries asset value must be raised about the starting point. they're wealthy countries, middle range in economics. i will choose a leadership of all of our bodies, each country, the world bank and so forth, but they choose their teams. world bank chooses his ceo, cfo. the united states secretary-general chooses his or her deputy secretaries and so forth. each country is choosing its own cabinet. the game starts with the students inheriting crises in every way imaginable. the crises range from ethnic and religious minorities struggles,
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hazardous waste bills come in nuclear proliferation, nuclear waste problem, but a race issues, desertification, climate change, oil spills, endangered species. everything i could to get his m.a. and all tie together as one big messy problem. the update as the game is designed to fail. i designed it to fail massively at first. i think failure is a part of life. we call it bad, but was taken the stigma out of simply conditions that exist that we want to change. we like to last a little bit longer. but they are going to alternate as they do in real life. anyway we are not protecting students from the reality, but in a safe, appropriate way had in the works for failure as well as live through success. they take the challenge and immediately go into despair
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because everything falls apart. nothing works. it fails. it is supposed to. it mirrors life. the thing that holds us together is the relationship we have between teacher and student. .. so with that seven rephrasing of the question or redirecting of the question back to them they think to themselves, s.c. then
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shake their heads sometimes. we have to help him. and the -- developed a passion for me. it want to help me. they say, this man needs help. we have to put ourselves together and get him out of this gym because is not short. we go to work on problems together. i can advise, change policy, direct. a likened it is ask questions and remind them of possible consequences. they can do whatever they want. it's their game. they can go to war if they want, to the espionage, have trade deals and have them be unbalanced. and hopefully in that environment they will learn what works and what does not. the remarkable thing is, after years and decades of doing this, they always, always, always come out on the side of compassion. they always do. even though i put them in situations and tend to be reactionary impulse of into the wrong thing, they still find a
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way through that to take care of everybody on the planet and solve all 50 of those interlocking problems. every time i play the game on afraid. and go in thinking, it is going to work this time. maybe that will launch a nuclear weapon. the canada want to. they never have. they have come close a few times. been a pretty dark day many time because they've gone the distance, as far as humans will go in exploring the dark side of things. the turnaround on the run and they're is a moment when they all sort of understand. they're not playing against each other. they're playing against the game and they realize that there is a quick in the room, you can feel the electricity change and suddenly they start playing against the game. suddenly they enter with the author, they enter a state call
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flow where they seem to the master everything. time seems to either speed up or slow down to a glacial speed commanded feel like they are masters of their own universe. they can solve every problem, and they do. at that point quite easily, reasonably command feasible. check the internet to see if it's a possibility. but they do this time and time again. the state of flow goes on for minutes or even an hour. it is a miraculous thing to see. children at full power, pau wisdom koppel understanding managing to say -- save and heal and no input or interference. it is -- it moves me every time i see it. it is a remarkable thing to see, and they do it every time, even though the situation is impossible. i don't know how they do it, but
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it takes all of them. when they reach the mass restated the end, i know class is almost over, but how about a few more. we have to go. time is almost up. well, the we're going to have to create some more problems and just began attacking each other for a reasonable. and they're doing it out of fun. they look to me with a smile knowing that we can master any problems. one not justew for the fun of it. they leave the classroom with such confidence, such positive attitudes, one student -- you know, we wonder how this carries over into the real world. thirty years of data. the year after we played in 2006, sees in the film. the filmmaker from virginia,
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independent filmmaker, a documentary film about this process. the film really became more about teachers and teaching, not just about me, which is amazing. still on the scene worldwide. it's a great film, even though one minute. it's a 56 minute documentary, but in the film a very fiery young girl, prime minister of the country came through the world peace scheme having some water rights issues and all kinds of problems like that. and the next year she writing class, the fifth grade class about the village in mozambique that have water problems. the water was contaminated and people were dying. she read about this in her studies. she also discovered that it took about $100 to get some fresh water, fresh water will put in.
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so amelya, having had similar problems, actually organized her fellow students collecting their pennies, nickels, dimes, and quarters and got together hundred dollars. they had a well put in in mozambique. 10-year-old girl with an idea inspired by her realistic real-life experience in a simulation about the real world. and i don't know. there's a lot of talk about greeting. teaching to the test in that kind of thing. and i have my own opinions, but i would just ask, i think, how do you grade something like that? she did not save two villages. you really go beyond the simple concept of making the snapshot of this to the stability and wisdom that the letter great. and we're talking about -- a
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great educational consultant. a test is a snapshot. trying to get the big picture, full flow. you want to depend on a single snapshot. a lot of students have shown this year over year that that has an effect. i have a partnership with the martian institute for teaching excellence in memphis, tennessee. an executive director and i travel around the world now. inspiring other teachers and educators to do their own best work. so many teachers, astounding numbers during fantastic things. we see a film about disasters that.
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we have this idea that everything was falling apart. my experience has been there there is so many fantastic teachers during rework up there. students are doing really well and a lot of places. and so i'm very inspired and optimistic about education today actually. one of the problems, we have to have some feedback and information to help dennis. if the infamous is so strong in that direction we can see the rear view mirror, see worry. been indeed a good look at ourselves. so that would be my only comment about that. so this has been on public television across america several times. wrensen -- norway, israel, south korea, romania.
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believe it's a shot in estonia which is interesting. so chris is happy to have had a success with this. again, is not about a single teacher. when i see his film i see myself, but in literally disappears. as see myself teaching, but i see my teachers teaching to me, my mother's -- mother was my fourth grade teacher in virginia and now i turned out really well. everything came out and we became as one. my mother's gesture there. my smile, my tenth grade geometry teacher. the way she puts her hand on the desk whenever i get over to the desk which is hardly ever. all those experiences have gone into making, of course, every
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effort i can manage to be the teacher. so i held a huge -- a huge debt of gratitude to all those teachers. we all do really. we all have a lineage. we'll come to summer. someone made it possible for us to be in to be here. without them we would not a survived. from the very first day we l.a. huge unpayable debt to so many people, and i do. i mean, i start thinking people who will be here all night. i would like to thank her for starting this. so many good teachers don't have the fortunes. a feeling responsibility to have to tell you about those teachers . the stories a kind of fun and interesting. but that's just the tip of the expert. panel the teachers and educators but a lot of community members
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working hard just to try out of unsung, known, selfishly and paid sometimes just to try to make things better. have been, from virginia just talk, this book about teachers and education. so again i could talk all night and will be happy to relate to stories from the book. what to say one final thing and then open it up for questions if you have any. the film lead us out to silicon valley a couple of years ago. we stream this for company. it's a design firm. i think the premier design firm on the planet. it is on everything from shopping carts to satellites to band-aids. beautiful people. lovely campus in silicon valley. erastus green this film. but they ask to see the game.
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we went out and showed the film. they called will we were doing the design thinking. i know now what that is, but it sounds good. this very well appointed moment camera. beautiful george. with a to see you. the card said pentagon, defense department. so we were invited to the defense department, on behalf of the undersecretary of defense. we got to the pentagon, went through all the security, the small-town film maker went inside this huge building,
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17 miles of always. we had the most amazing revelation. the film they've been screened for times of the pentagon. they see us doing it. you want to talk to about this world peace scheme, the empty space the game creates. it came out of an interspace. he did not know how to start our what to do. you created it. it seems to be about no answers being present. and we need more of that year. but almost felt like there was a peace meeting at the pentagon. it was the oddest thing. we have this 2-hour, very sincere discussion about space. the been a war for ten years.
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we are tired, suffering. we need answers from our rich confined them. it really was an eye opening think. we had done it as a monolithic faceless military machine. turns out there were people. there were in dire straits like a lot of us are. in so we went home relief awful. we clearly a phone call. you can imagine how i felt. so we steady real world countries to be prepared for the real world we will see the pentagon. they she's free country there were assigned to, created a white paper full of information, ticket to the pentagon command
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the top secret dossiers as they walk town halls. talks -- top-secret. actually, we were met by out room full of policy military people. not in a photo opportunity, but having a policy discussion with 9-year old veteran diplomats. it would ask questions like how you handle insurgence in the field. climate change considerations. the students want to answer. the amazing experience to be in the room for. having a great time taking the tour. for all about the building.
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the center of the pentagon building's structure. but after the tour there was a door open for us that ushered into the office and then that there had been defense secretary mr. leon panetta. i welcome the student to his office. they're on his desk was a stone from the compound of ban-lon. he allowed the students to come into his desk -- come into his office and put the hands on the desk. don't touch those, especially the red one. but he had a discussion with them, again, policy discussion, not a photo opportunity. he talks to them about strategy. your hardest problem. here is hours. he had ten minutes. he stayed for almost half an hour. at the end of the tour he
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stopped and did the most amazing thing. military commanders and leaders have a special metal coin minted in their name. a tremendous service. a harris -- ceremonial handshake give everyone of our students a coin. i heard later the staffer said, i've known the man for years and i've hardly ever seen that happen. he stepped out in the hall and there was another general westar's all over his sleeves and shoulders that was dempsey, head of the joint chiefs of staff. he said, mr. hunter, world peace delegation, would like to calling you, too. he did. you can imagine what the students felt. beacon probably imagine what it
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will carry with them from this. despite are conflicting feelings about myself being a pacifist or a piece of meeting people try to do their best to help us out. it's quite up moving in conflicting thing it the same time. we went said nashville, tennessee. the man came to pick us up. the teacher of the school. the shoes, great clothes, nice car, lovely hair cut, well-to-do . but we haven't figured out pretty foolish kate, got it made. no problem. teacher at the school. guy. got in his car. you know, i saw the film.
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i liked it. what did you like? i like that you have the students read the letter. military commander a leader wages the little plastic troops in battle and lose them, write a letter on to the fictional parents of a fictional soldiers explaining what happened in offering condolences. fourth graders don't take it too seriously. it to a good job. a brief couple of paragraphs. that john and in the car said i like the you have them write the letter. why is that? because up until about a year-and-a-half ago i was a marine military commander. i fought in afghanistan. added several stores. the fat in the battle of pollution.
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all he would say about that was it was a kinetic situation. kinetic. when i was a commander and to write that letter, make phone calls, go to a the house, the home of the parents and tell them what had happened. so you keep having them read that letter just so they have an idea of the consequences of what war is. that's great. but you keep the letter in the game. is very important we were playing in something, this can manage the debt. under the most terrible circumstances.
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thank you for listening to me ramble on. are there any questions about the game, however works to mallets played? would you like to play it? we can turn this table around now. if you have any ideas, questions, comments, please feel free. i was luckier than yes, sir. >> you mentioned a little girl who did the charity for the well in mozambique. heavy at any other students -- have they gone on to do diplomatic things? have any increased interest? >> that's a great question. it's kind of a bittersweet question because of the teacher. the students leave the classroom. if you're at the top level, elementary school, fourth, fifth grade, they leave your school
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and you may never see them again you may never know what happened to them. you can lay awake at night wondering whatever happened to this kid of that kid. d.c. faces in the don't know what happened. you wonder. unfortunately a lot of my students are coming back from ten, 20, 30 years ago. harry newman played 1517 years ago. she wrote a letter saying, i saw your talk about the world peace came. i play that. i remember that because when i played, you let me do everything wrong. you let me be a black-market arms dealer, defy the u.n. i did everything. i tried to have a coup and it failed. you know, the game allows this bill read all kinds of things will be worked out. now i'm in war and peace studies
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and international diplomacy and security issues. and i saw diplomatic problems. when i get a diplomatic problem or an international incident my finger stuck tangling because i'm so excited about working with diplomacy. my professors can understand why i'm so good that it. well, i've been doing diplomacy since i was nine years old. of course again. our road to fashion a letter. but there are letters that come and for students like that. one said she was a facilitated general which was essentially my assistant to basically move me out of a job about halfway through the game and took over. and she had moved away. in hawaii. but memories of the world piece, it makes living here tolerable. what do you know? so i think we're getting some great feedback from kids who do go on.
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it's a wonderful thing for a teacher to hear from mr. and has been it comes back to let them know what happened. yes, sir. >> i listen to your book what a sum of the abilities that they can use besides hiring mercenaries? >> a good question. what knesset toward do? where the abilities and capacities. that's a very high functioning student, someone who can think of to lines, try to win the game sincerely of the story the same time. mostly what happens is up here. mostly they have to be wise enough to be able to create problems more interesting, more difficult, more challenging. all at the same time tried said
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solve all the problems they have been given and the problems they create, some impossible, but our best do that. at a want to give away too many tricks, but in the film, keeton realized they were about to catch up with them. there were getting close. crews were coming out. he didn't want to give up the role. it was too important. so what to do? he said, don't know what to do. it will find at him. what can i do tend to misdirect their investigation. so he called in a missile strike on his own capital. incredible decision completely misdirected or redirected suspicion from myself to be was brought to trial, but charges
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were dismissed because nobody would believe he would do such a thing. and the subterfuge really worked. it was an amazing strategy. it was a sacrifice in may for the good of the game. so that's one of the tools. most of them are here. but you can also use a mercenary. a small budget, he/she. a few mercenaries, a couple of thousand, maybe an icbm or to combusting missile, something like that, but mostly it's appear. again, at the end of the game at they always cheered and celebrated. you'd think everyone would be upset. they're so happy that you made it harder. you made it more interesting. thank you for that. so it's kind of an odd thing to see the prisoners trying to destroy it because of their cleverness using their cleverness to actually help us. that person is celebrated.
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you might be a good saboteur. all you? [indiscernible] >> perfect. you could fill out an application. o.c. will we can do. experience already. he might be too good. >> you entered my question about the pentagon. different levels, making the game. >> yes, i have. we have been approached, says the fund cannot about -- the first thing that can to mind was can we put this on one? and to tell you the truth, i've been against the for the longest time. i thought, no. it is a visceral, in your face kinetic, kinesthetic, spatial, tactile experience. why would we want to take all that away? the game is based on relationships.
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an online video game. of course the game may have more in it, but it's about achieving peace. so the first -- some of the first interests they have more about manufacturing the game. but we thought, no, if we do that no one will buy it. you will say to my want the game on the shelf. give me that. so we didn't think to have much in the way of sales. so we have been approached by a number of interesting game design companies. engineers to think about how we might augment the actual physical brain through video conferencing. been quite a bit of interest from some of our european friends. sharing this exercise.
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trying to do it in not authentic way. we would like to share it and make it a legacy so that after around on it can be in its original form used by others. >> if a group of fourth graders can keep world piece, of the possibilities for those of us who are young in heart? >> don't we wish. the most amazing thing is that each can person could be the answer to any problem. we don't know. in a way we cannot afford to lose anybody, not one single person. and for those young eric, high-school students and young
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adults and college students of play this game, they play the most amazing, sophisticated game i have no doubt that high-school students and college students could save this world. i seen them do it. air relentlessly compassion way left no stone unturned. time and time again they found reasonable, practical ways of doing that. they simply refused to not save the planet no matter how fears the fiction, of fiendishly clever the interlocking problems . there would not stop until they say best. so it gives me great hope and also knowing that every child that comes along could be the next president, the next cure for cancer. we would never know. so you have to make every possible effort for every possible child so that they can help us fix the mess we left. we have


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